Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:32 pm

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KCStudly wrote:
Adirondackersouth wrote:4 months?


:roll: :worship: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I will answer with a question. Can you find any other build thread on this forum that completed a ground up build in that amount of time (that wasn't a production shop or retired person... even including those...), and if so, was the end result to the level of detail and quality that you have in mind for your build?

How many times have you read a thread that said the first time builder expected to assemble their trailer-in-a-box "today"; then it took three days to get it sorted out; and the bearings had still not been repacked, the wiring wasn't done, it wasn't level, and they had some other gripe that the store couldn't resolve the same day?

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but it is better to have a realistic view. Yes, things may go swimmingly well for you, and I hope that is the case; but I advise that you be prepared for a longer trip. Even on a simple build.

Not trying to be adversarial, just trying to share my experience and the overwhelming evidence that I see posted all about this place. I budgeted from 3 to 5K and from 1 to 2-1/2 years. I haven't added up the receipts since crossing the 6.5k mark (probably closer to 7.5k with all of the epoxy/FG supplies and misc. stuff adding up... so far). After a year in design the actual build crossed the 4 yr mark in February (5 yrs and counting). Yes, mine is a much more detailed design with a self built trailer and what I hope can be considered a high level of fit and finish, but everything is relative. I am not alone in this hindsight. Very few get built on time; fewer within budget. Just saying.


Maybe you can use this dissenting view as motivation to prove me wrong. I'd like that. Go for it!
:beer:


Hi there
Newbies like myself are full of exuberance and wanting to get it done fast. I bet your teardrop is killer cool and I admire things done right. The trailer in a box is one way to approach it, but it was not what I had exactly in mind. I was thinking of buying a pre-built, pre-wired job and go from there. I met a guy back around Christmas who was selling his VERY large teardrop. I could almost stand up in it. It was missing windows and the back galley hatch did not secure properly. The cuts that he had made in the plywood for the roof and the back hatch were not all clearly secure to the side walls in the case of the roof, but the back hatch it needed some kind of trim work to conceal the mistakes he had made with the circular saw. The roof as done with large sections of metal siding that had been seemed pretty well. The sides of the camper were made of wooden siding which looked sharp. I do not think I can add photos here otherwise I would show you. The whole thing he was selling for 2000.00. I guess divorce and needing money was on his mind. At the time I thought there were some real issues with it I could not address in the middle of winter. I passed on it too long and someone snatched it.

What do you think about the repairs ? Doable under 500 bucks?
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby KCStudly » Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:42 am

Well that's a different story. :roll:

But like you said, deals like that may be few and far between, or at least you may have to travel a bit to score one.

Taking over someone's partially complete project has a big potential to save funds and time. So long as you can verify the quality of the work and materials, and you like the style of the build it could be a great way to achieve your goals.

Frankly, I had forgotten that you had mentioned that in another thread sometime ago. :?
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:33 am

KCStudly wrote:
Adirondackersouth wrote:4 months?


:roll: :worship: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I will answer with a question. Can you find any other build thread on this forum that completed a ground up build in that amount of time (that wasn't a production shop or retired person... even including those...), and if so, was the end result to the level of detail and quality that you have in mind for your build?

How many times have you read a thread that said the first time builder expected to assemble their trailer-in-a-box "today"; then it took three days to get it sorted out; and the bearings had still not been repacked, the wiring wasn't done, it wasn't level, and they had some other gripe that the store couldn't resolve the same day?

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but it is better to have a realistic view. Yes, things may go swimmingly well for you, and I hope that is the case; but I advise that you be prepared for a longer trip. Even on a simple build.

Not trying to be adversarial, just trying to share my experience and the overwhelming evidence that I see posted all about this place. I budgeted from 3 to 5K and from 1 to 2-1/2 years. I haven't added up the receipts since crossing the 6.5k mark (probably closer to 7.5k with all of the epoxy/FG supplies and misc. stuff adding up... so far). After a year in design the actual build crossed the 4 yr mark in February (5 yrs and counting). Yes, mine is a much more detailed design with a self built trailer and what I hope can be considered a high level of fit and finish, but everything is relative. I am not alone in this hindsight. Very few get built on time; fewer within budget. Just saying.


Maybe you can use this dissenting view as motivation to prove me wrong. I'd like that. Go for it!
:beer:


Hey there Sir,
I was sure that I had posted a reply last night but I guess I am mistaken because it is not here. I appreciated your input. Honestly Its not that I want to be cheap its that I have to be cheap. It is one thing to arbitrarily set a price and try to stick with it out of boasting rights or some such prideful argument. My thing is I just don't have the money to spend more then 3K on anything let alone trying to build one in spurts "puttering style." I do not have a garage to build in which from what I have seen from the threads I have read and photos I have seen, this seems to be a pre-rec from the get go. I have seen some hardy souls that live in milder climates build the whole thing under a tarp with little mention of how long that it took. I wonder how fast I could build one basic enough to keep my butt dry and still have some style to it? Some say that the whole process depends on skill and money. I have seen some very cool designs, yours included, that I would be happy to own, but I think a good majority of these teardrop makers I see in this forum have more money and time then I do.

This is possibly an Oliver Twist story for me. I may not be able to play with the big dogs, the middle sized standard poodles or the Bichon Frise's even at this rate. I have four tents, a decent assortment of camping gear and now a cot to sleep on in the tent. Maybe I should suck it up another year and camp 36 nights in four states as a tenter. But oh boy would life be grand in a teardrop or Tiny Travel Trailer. :worship:
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:35 am

KCStudly wrote:Well that's a different story. :roll:

But like you said, deals like that may be few and far between, or at least you may have to travel a bit to score one.

Taking over someone's partially complete project has a big potential to save funds and time. So long as you can verify the quality of the work and materials, and you like the style of the build it could be a great way to achieve your goals.

Frankly, I had forgotten that you had mentioned that in another thread sometime ago. :?


No sweat. I am all over this forum. I am surprised someone has not pulled the plug on me.
I am bound and determined to research the you know what out of this before I give up the ghost.
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby KCStudly » Sat Apr 09, 2016 5:20 pm

It sounds like you would be best served by sticking to the classified adds here in the 'for sale' and 'for sale-not mine' forums; then expand out with Tempest or other such Craig's List search engine. If you spend as much time dong that as you would building, before you know it you will find the right deal, at the right time in the right place, for the right amount and of suitable quality. Your budget is reasonable if you look at it that way, and it would solve many of your issues: ready made, so no build space issues; someone else took the labor/depreciation hit, so you get the most bang for your buck; and you get to go camping now/soon.

Just hit the ads hard and be patient for the right deal to find you, and I bet you will be camping before me! :thumbsup:
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby citylights » Mon Apr 11, 2016 10:34 pm

My teardrop went from utility trailer to campable teardrop in 6 months working some nights and most weekends. It cost $4k in materials. Then I finished up details over the next 4 months. Cutting out the electrical and galley, I'm sure I could have done it for $3k. I'm pretty handy with projects and had all the tools already. Sadly, I figured out that my wife s mildly claustrophobic and the teardrop didn't work out for us. I sold it and found something bigger.


Anyway, here is a link to my build log.

http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=55811
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Thu Apr 21, 2016 7:12 pm

citylights wrote:My teardrop went from utility trailer to campable teardrop in 6 months working some nights and most weekends. It cost $4k in materials. Then I finished up details over the next 4 months. Cutting out the electrical and galley, I'm sure I could have done it for $3k. I'm pretty handy with projects and had all the tools already. Sadly, I figured out that my wife s mildly claustrophobic and the teardrop didn't work out for us. I sold it and found something bigger.


Anyway, here is a link to my build log.

http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?f=50&t=55811



Thank you for the encouragement
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Ron Dickey » Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:26 am

Adirondackersouth wrote:Hello everyone,
Last May my old truck kicked the bucket and the new vehicle of rapid choice was a 2008 Toyota highlander. The price was right and needed a vehicle in 3 days. Long story short the sad thing about my choice is that it only has a 2000K towing capacity. Here is my question that may have some baring on my future teardrop or Tiny Travel Trailer Purchase.

The book says I can only pull 2K without a towing package.

Online on a forum I have watched they say I can add the cooler and the bigger fan and then I can tow 5K.

Is this legit for a basic model?

David :thumbsup:

This maybe do to the weight of the truck. I have pulled my teardrop with a corolla with an automatic 4 cyl front wheel drive from 2007 till to 2014. I forget it is back there at times. they are not hard to pull. I have pulled it to new Mexico and through out California pulling around 10k miles. I get still around 30 mpg with it. if you have a 6 or 8 in that truck I would not worry. We fill the car with cast iron and luggage and one of 2 coolers. we fill the trailer with the other cooler and the rest of your camping stuff. And we get there with little to know problems except for a low back end and on driveway entrances we drag which you will not do.
Wish I had an SUV but then the wife would find more stuff to put in. ;)

In my book you are fine.
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Mon Jul 11, 2016 9:13 pm

Ned B wrote:David, having chimed in on your trailer search thread, I'm confident you're looking at a trailer that shouldn't stress your highlander as it sits now. If you get a commercial built trailer you'll likely be closer to the published limits of your SUV though, depending on what you wind up with.

Your highlander has a decent capacity as it sits, adding a tranny cooler and an auxiliary fan to the truck will help. Probably the best thing to add on top of those is a brake controller, and to have brakes on your trailer once you get over 1000 lbs.


I appreciate the advice on NOT going up in size.

David
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Ned B » Mon Jul 11, 2016 11:33 pm

Adirondackersouth wrote:I appreciate the advice on NOT going up in size.

David


You're very welcome. How did your trailer search ever pan out?
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Adirondackersouth » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:26 pm

Hello everyone
It has been nearly a year since my last post on the question of towing anything. The bottom line is that I think that keeping my Highlander in the realm of either a Serro Scotty or a Medium sized tear is my only real option as it stands now. I have been on the brink of buying two Scotty Sportsman models since last July, and two teardrops. Admiring many good designs and favoring this forum the most of all the forums I have found on the subject of building my own teardrop, I have decided to pull the trigger this Summer and embark on making my own. I can see how easy it is to bulk up a project making the tear much heavier than I may wish. Plywood, insulation, calking, flooring, skinning, galley making, and hatch design looks like a bear of a challenge to keep a 6.5 x 6 x 10 foot Tear under 1200 lbs but I am going to try. On good advice from a private guy who makes Tears for sale mentioned his materials and how he keeps his Tears light. Mine will be larger than his design but dimensionaly similar.

So my question is:

If an empty trailer weighs in at 1300 lbs and you stow 300 lbs of gear, food, water, kayak, bikes, extra batteries and maybe some other items for comfort. The trailer will weight in at approximately 1600 lbs with most likely a tongue weight of 100-200 lbs (this is a guess depending on how I sling the bed, water tank, and batteries). Is this enough wiggle room to keep the Highlander happy or should I consider a making a lighter unit?
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby working on it » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:55 pm

Adirondackersouth wrote:...So my question is:

If an empty trailer weighs in at 1300 lbs and you stow 300 lbs of gear, food, water, kayak, bikes, extra batteries and maybe some other items for comfort. The trailer will weight in at approximately 1600 lbs with most likely a tongue weight of 100-200 lbs (this is a guess depending on how I sling the bed, water tank, and batteries). Is this enough wiggle room to keep the Highlander happy or should I consider a making a lighter unit?
  • I wish I had a Highlander, because having an enclosed rear section (as in any SUV) makes your storage and carry-to-camp options much greater, than I have.You'll find that moving just a few items from front to rear in a trailer will change the tongue weight a lot, and vice-versa. And taking others out of the trailer, and into your tow vehicle, even more so.
  • I have a 4x8 squareback, crammed full of multiple camping features, that overflowed long ago, to fill the bed of my 2500 HD Chevy Silverado. Since it's a regular cab, there is no extra storage behind the seats, so everything goes in the truck bed or in the trailer. I carry parts and tools and gear (I always do, camping or not) far in excess of my storage, so I am starting to pack items on the exterior of my TTT. I eventually plan to have a 4wd SUV, like your Highlander, to store gear in, out of the elements, and protected from prying fingers, when left unattended at gas stops, or such. My wife says I have to get rid of three or four of my vehicles, before I get that SUV (OK, I don't have room for it now, either).
  • With the rear storage space afforded by using your SUV, you can determine what you need to carry with you, and can vary your load-up to your best weight advantage, and also for best accessibility. I constantly change my load-up, trying to achieve that "sweet spot", where everything is just right. Still not there yet. Good luck to you in your quest for the "right stuff".
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
  • 147697148333
  • 148599125895148106
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Padilen » Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:32 pm

I wouldn't worry about going slightly over 2000. If you have added a cooler, and fan, proper hitch up to the 5000. I had an 08 Jeep that I added everything too. Only thing left, which was hype to me was an electronic sway control.


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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby gudmund » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:24 am

agree with padilen, you can tow anything - within reason - just keeping the item being towed sized and weight portioned to the tow vehicle size and you should be fine. I used to tow my 1400+ lb teardrop with a 4cyl/5 speed S-10 rated for a 2000 lb tow (and it had 170+ thou miles on it) and it did fine - good brakes and tires, a good cooling system along with a trans cooler being you have a auto trans and you should be fine, just don't plan on getting there very fast!! Take it easy and enjoy the drive as you watch everyone else blow by you (used to just find a semi at a nice cruising speed and just hide behind him.) Think back years ago when there were no tow ratings, when people just towed whatever with whatever. Watch the movie with Desi & Luci about the trailer. :shock: We have a guy who has been with our tear group who tows his tear with a '28 Ford Model A - "all original" to include the original mechanical brakes!! :thinking: (talk about a lesson in yesterday era travel - "Grapes of Wrath" movie with Henry Fonda) And his trailer is no light weight - complete with the roof rake full of whatever when traveling - probably around 1400/1500 or more lbs - ('28 Model A with a 4 cyl, 200 cubic inch motor rated at 40 HP, that was it back than!!) Take care and stay safe. :D
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Re: Toyota Highlander Basic Towing question

Postby Padilen » Wed Jun 07, 2017 9:39 am

Stopping is more important than going. And brakes on most tow packages are the same as the non option tow models.


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